The G41C: An H&K Carbine That Never Was

During the 1970s and 1980s, Heckler and Koch were engaged in multiple parallel lines of rifle development, from the hubristically ambitious G11 to the G41, a 5.56mm roller retarded blowback rifle that married NATO standards such as AR-15 magazines and compatibility with NATO ammunition to the existing HK33 rifle.

The G41 only achieved very limited sales, and few specialized variants were ever produced even at the prototype level. However, TSC Machine has realized a hypothetical “G41C” variant in the style of H&K short-barreled carbine variants:

TSC Machine is a custom gunmaker specializing in modifications to H&K weapons, including NFA items. Besides the G41C, some their most interesting projects include a modernized FNC and a reproduction of the XM262 US Army SAW trials weapon.

Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Giolli Joker

    Great way to start the new year!
    And TSC is a great website to drool on…

  • C.

    “Hubristically ambitious”……I like that one! Too bad H&K or some other company couldn’t bring back the G41…I guess it would be prohibitively expensive.

    • Sam Schifo

      To be fair roller delayed blowback has never worked well with the 5.56 round anyway.

      • Tom

        I have heard this a lot I am a little skeptical as there have been lots of users of the G33 and G53, but then again nether of these had especially successful or long careers

        I am of the opinion that what did it for the G33 and by extension the G41 was cost. Whilst the Roller Locked weapons were cheaper than the finely machined rifles like the M14 or FN FAL. They are still more expensive than AR type rilfles. I recall that the list price (military & LEO) for the G41 was about 3 times that of an M16A2, and that was over a decade ago!

  • Anonymoose

    Please tell me they didn’t butcher a REAL, ORIGINAL G41 for this. They only brought like 6 of those things into the States before May of ’86.

    • Couldn’t tell you.

      • Anonymoose


    • A pre-May 1986 G41 would still be a dealer sample, as the door closed on transferable imported machineguns with GCA68.
      That’s why nearly all transferable HK machineguns are built from converted semi-autos.

      • Anonymoose

        There’s still ONLY 6.

        • FWIW: They have another video showing a Post-86 Dealer Sample G41K.

  • Well, now that APEX is selling CETME L kits, you can have the next best thing…

    • J Garcia Sampedro

      But those kits don’t have the stock, main spring and bolt of the CETME LC, that would be needed for this.
      Since this is no different (besides the cost-cutting and lousy quality control) than a military issue CETME LC.

  • Marty Ewer

    Incredible cyclic rate.

  • 1leggeddog

    That just looks badass!

  • Tom

    I should also point out that the problem with roller and lever delayed blowbacks is that they are pretty ammo sensitive and dirty. This might not seem like too big a deal on paper for a military at first but not being able to use captured ammo or allies ammo would be a big problem in a total war scenario.

    I doubt we will ever see any new designs using roller delayed blowback, not necessarily because of the cost but simple because gas operated piston designed are better. As sad as it makes me (from the point of view of an armchair commando) to say it we are pretty much at the point where we know the best way to make a locked breach rifle or pistol. Looking back at the late nineteenth and early to mid twentieth century designs we see lots of variety in operation where as now (at the risk of over simplifying things) pretty much all new rifle designs owe them selves to ether the AR15, AR18 or AK47. Pretty much all handgun designs owe the lineage to ether the 1911, High Power, Walther P38 or Walther PP.

  • It would be entertaining to see someone make a clone of the G41 configurations Franchi submitted to the Italian service rifle trials back in the 1980s.

  • grunion

    Pardon my ignorance, but what is a roller blowback delay system?

  • J Garcia Sampedro

    Just a CETME LC with better materials and quality control.
    Also looks to have a somewhat higher rate of fire.

    5’56 worked well with roller lockers, but we had to suffer the lowest (and only) bidder trying to get much more money than it was possible with the government contracts for the CETME L (and later the AMELI). Lousy magazines, bad quality unreliable ammo…
    A perfect storm of little problems, all in one.

    At least LCs had somewhat better quality than the Ls